The UI Repertory Jazz Orchestra is a music show organized and performed by the University of Illinois students and sponsors. All the music that was performed and sung were from the Big Band Era, jazz golden age from 1910-1940.
When was the last time you listened to a jazz song? Exactly… I was skeptical about going into the show but in the back of my head, I was thinking it would be like a musical and I would walk out with a story. In this blog, I would like to share my experience with my very first jazz show and Krannert Center. I had no issue with parking so I parked my car on the street walked in. There were multiple shows starting at 7:30 so it was hectic babies crying and toddlers running around which made me think that the show cant that bad if people from all age groups are going to watch it. But, when I got to the theater that had the jazz show I realized that there was no line and it was exceptionally quiet. So I walked up and showed the attended my e-ticket and walked in.
The audience was filled with seniors and the stage was level with the ground.
Upon entering the theater, I was greeted with a bunch of old people and a couple of students in there mid 20’s. I walked in and just sat in the back and exactly at 7:30 the host greeted us and introduced us to what songs he would play.
So the show started with a couple of songs with no vocals which I personally didn’t like it because the beat was outdated and then transitioned to happy songs. Unfortunately, I can’t remember the names of the songs because it was the first time listening to jazz songs from the 1940s. An hour into the show I was regretting coming to this show because that is not the type of music I listen to. But, when they started playing “sad songs” it got so emotional. It was so clear what the lyrics meant and it made me realize how most of the songs today just promote drugs, sex, and money. I was just sitting there and got this feeling you get when u realize you are missing out on something so pure that makes you question why people stopped listening to jazz. My favorite song that I listened to after the show was “Over the rainbow”. If you never been to a jazz show then I strongly recommend giving it a try.
A night with fun, chaos, and depth that redefines dancing.
Coming into the performance hall Tuesday night was exciting and tame. I personally came into the performance with not many expectations. I expected some interpretive dancing and tame classical music from Andersson Dance and Scottish Ensemble. I was pleasantly surpised and had an amazing time watching the show.
A beautiful performance by Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony.
Written by: Leah Siegel
After a week off, I am back and refreshed and ready to finish the semester strong! This week our class went to The Krannert Center of Performing Arts to see the famous Michael Tilson Thomas and The San Francisco Symphony, and special guest, Alexander Kerr.
At one point during the show, I felt as if I had fallen asleep and was dreaming.
By Lesly Marroquin
Thursday I had the pleasure of attending the performance of the Jupiter Strong Quartet accompanied by a Tai Ji Master and Tango. I have had previous experiences of watching shows with string instruments but have not seen a quartet and have no experience with Tai Chi besides hearing it from word of mouth. On the other hand, I have had many experiences with tango as I have studied abroad in Argentina and have seen many people dancing it.
I was expecting something new and was really wondering to how they would combine Tai Ji, Classical music, and Tango all together. I thought they would be separate experiences. I was very surprised at what I witnessed.
The show had the quartet open up by themselves, playing a classic but strong piece. Then the Tai Ji master came in and performed a routine that fit well alongside the music. I quickly felt myself be soothed and completely relaxed. The music and the Tai Ji performance was soft, wispy, and calming. I quickly knew that if it continued I would for sure fall asleep. They ended that portion at the perfect point.
The tango was strong and passionate. I quickly was awakened and put into an ecstatic state. I fully enjoyed both portions of the performance and felt completely different things from them. Though, I think the slower once could have put me to sleep if it had run longer. This also might be due to me having a long school day prior to this perfomance.
I especially enjoyed the finale when everyone joined in the Tai Ji performance and only one player of the Quartet was left. It was an amazing way to include all of the performers on stage at once in unison. After it was over, I was very amused by the show and enjoyed my first experiences with Tai Ji and a Quartet thoroughly.
For the performance of the Jupiter Spring Quartet with Chungliang Al Huang, I really was not sure what to expect at all. I had been to a few classical performances before but nothing paired with a visual or dance component. The audio along with the visual aspect together was a new experience. I did not feel like my brain was overloaded with trying to process the information. Before the Taiji and dancing was introduced, it felt like the music was telling a story. Jupiter Spring left it up to the listener to interpret what was being said. Once Chungliang came onstage and began to do Taiji,he began to tell a more solid story with his actions. This along with the music made for a very interesting performance.
This showcase had parts featuring just music from the quartet, music and Taiji, music and formal dance and music with group dance. The combination that I enjoyed the most though, would have had to be the strings along with the formal dancing. It was a very eye catching, sharp and calculated performance. Both the style of dance and music was a stark contrast to the rest of the production, which was more fluid and slow in movement and style. The energy shifted in the theatre once this part started and I think it gave a much needed change of pace. I also believed that this was the most interesting part as well. In the beginning of the section, the duo began by doing the tango. The tango is regarded by many as a dance that expresses sensuality so I thought that it was an interesting choice for the Jupiter Spring Quartet to pair this dance and the accompanying music with a pair of two men. There seemed to be no gender roles as both men went back and forth following and leading. I believe there was a good balance between what is widely known as ballroom tango and the shock value of having men perform the dance as partners. There was a break in the heteronormativity that is common in ballroom dance. I think that placing this in the middle of the entire presentation was the right thing to do, as it served as a sort of climax before Chungliang and others came back out with natural, fluent movement.
The director did a very good job with setting up the order of the performances. The tone shifted with every performance both onstage and within the audience and I believe that it fit exactly what the director was trying to portray. There was a slow build up that led to the climax and then the action fell back down until the end came. The music was able to tell a story on its own as well as when paired with Taiji and dancing. All around it was a very interesting performance and it kept the audiences’ attention.
Last night I went to the Krannert center watched “Rolston String Quartet”. I enjoyed it very much, similar to the violin-piano duet concert. Although I didn’t hear any familiar song that I might hear before this time, the pieces that they played yesterday was still pretty good.